Keep Calm And Carry On!

Picture this. It’s the first day of Kindergarten. Parents are dropping their children off. Extra exciting. Most of the kids  seem curious about the new school, some look a bit apprehensive. In general though, all children are doing well. Unlike their parents. I just couldn’t believe the drama filling up the classroom, together with all those intense emotions, furtive tears, distracting camera clicks, I-will-miss-you and blow-me-a-kiss gestures.

Naturally, it is the first day of school and it is a big deal! Of course, human beings are emotional creatures and Americans love to express their emotions more than any other human beings!  But aren’t we blowing things out of proportion here? The kids are just going to school, not to the moon. It’s just a few hours of fun play and learning mix. Nothing terrible. So why so much drama? Why so much anxiety? How exactly is it  supposed to help our children ?

Not sure if it is a personal trait, but I’ve noticed that my anxiety is my children’s anxiety.The more I overreact, the more they overreact. It’s a domino effect.  A simple example. I used to openly panic every time I couldn’t find my purse. It wasn’t an issue until I had children. Overtime, I’ve noticed that the very mentioning of my nowhere-to-be found purse was enough for my son to start crying. At first I found it endearing and empathic. But then it dawned on me that  I was subconsciously traumatizing my son.  In other words, I was sabotaging  his self-control skills and logical thinking by teaching him to overreact in stressful situations. Lesson’s learned though. I am learning to control my stress centers and my son shows his empathy calmly, as we both look for my purse, that I still notoriously misplace.

Back to the school topic. Kids need strong parents to help them go through changes and challenges. School is full those.The best we can do to help our children is to keep calm and carry on.

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